Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
114 Orange Avenue, 2nd Floor
West Haven CT 06516
Contact Information
Address 114 Orange Avenue, 2nd Floor
West Haven, CT 06516-
Telephone (203) 794-4291 x
Fax 203-889-0111
E-mail administrator@ctveteranslegal.org
Web and Social Media
CVLC Staff Attorney Cindy Johnson with Veteran Johnny
Mission

The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center’s (CVLC) vision is for all military veterans in Connecticut to live with adequate means, affordable healthcare, safe and secure housing, and peace of mind. To this end, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center works in medical-legal partnership at Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities to help low-income veterans overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare, and income. By providing free legal services to low-income veterans, CVLC helps veterans recovering from homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse rebuild their lives.

A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
The RIDE For Our Vets is a charity bike ride that benefits the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. This spectacular ride starts and ends in Stamford, and takes riders on a tour of the beautiful Connecticut and New York countryside. It is perfect for beginner to advanced cyclists. The next Ride will take place on June 17th, 2017.
 
 
A Great Opportunity Ending Date Aug 01 2017
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2009
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Margaret Middleton
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Lenehan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission

The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center’s (CVLC) vision is for all military veterans in Connecticut to live with adequate means, affordable healthcare, safe and secure housing, and peace of mind. To this end, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center works in medical-legal partnership at Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities to help low-income veterans overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare, and income. By providing free legal services to low-income veterans, CVLC helps veterans recovering from homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse rebuild their lives.

Background

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center arose from the volunteer work of Howard Udell, who first came to the VA Connecticut’s Errera Community Care Center in 2007. The Errera Center is a nationally-recognized VA facility providing mental health, substance abuse, housing and employment assistance to indigent veterans. When, over morning coffee, the veterans learned Howard was an attorney, they started asking him for advice about their legal troubles. Soon a line would form by the elevator on days when Howard was coming in. Howard started taking cases on his own and before long was assisting thirty veterans. He was a walking needs assessment for the legal barriers veterans face in rebuilding their lives. 

Howard joined with attorney Margaret Middleton to incorporate CVLC in 2009 with seed funding from the Yale Initiative for Public Interest Law. New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA), a local legal aid agency, served as the fiscal sponsor for the project. The mission of the organization was, and remains, to help veterans recovering from homelessness and serious mental illness overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. Although the co-founders were driven by the immediate needs of the local veterans they met at the Errera Center, they proved an unwitting vanguard in a national movement to serve the legal needs of veterans.

CVLC serves veterans who are confronting a wide variety of legal issues, including family, housing, criminal record expungement, bankruptcy, consumer debt, securing Social Security and VA benefits, employment, estate planning and military discharge upgrades. CVLC is the only organization in Connecticut to overcome transportation and communication obstacles for the state’s most vulnerable veterans by meeting them where they are, on-site at VA mental health facilities. To date, CVLC has helped over 2,000 veterans, over half of whom were homeless or previously homeless, reintegrate into civilian life by providing legal aid. In addition to providing free legal services to veterans, CVLC also serves as a legal information and referral resource for social service agencies, legislative bodies and attorneys serving veterans across the state of Connecticut and the United States.

Impact

 Achievements:

  1. Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) has helped almost 2,000 veterans rebuild their lives by resolving legal barriers to recovery.
  2. CVLC is a national leader in military records corrections (commonly known as "Discharge Upgrades") - a growing social justice field.
  3. CVLC and a partner organization in New York have recently concluded a two-year research grant for $700,000 awarded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. This is the first-ever study of the mental health and well-being of veterans who get legal help integrated into VA care.
  4. CVLC has built a network of over 650 volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law students committed to assisting veterans in need.

Goals:
  1. To serve as the national model for the integration of legal aid into the system of VA care for veterans and demonstrate the efficacy of this medical-legal partnership.
  2. To expand the pro bono impact of Connecticut attorneys by connecting private practice, firms and corporate attorneys to veterans in need of legal services.
Needs

 

  1. Gifts of any size help fund our core mission to help veterans overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income.
  2. Non-legal corporate executives passionate about CVLC’s mission to serve on the program’s board and its task forces addressing development, finance, strategic planning and public relations. 
  3. Volunteer professional services improve CVLC's organizational capacity. CVLC is actively recruiting volunteers with media, marketing or communications expertise to help us increase our regional visibility. 
  4. Volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students to increase CVLC's capacity to serve clients.
  5. Donation of printers, software licenses or other electronic goods, office space in West Haven and interesting and beautiful spaces in which to hold fundraising events. 

 

CEO Statement

It’s hard not to grin during a visit to CVLC at the VA’s Errera Community Care Center. Here’s an idea of what you’ll see and an overview of what we are doing there.

You’ll emerge from the elevator into a big sunny room, with lovely old wood floors and twenty-foot ceilings. Light floods in from a skylight above and a wall of ten foot high windows in front of you. A boombox is playing and veterans are sitting at long lunch tables chatting over coffee or reading the paper.

These veterans face adversity and come here to learn to confront it together. Some have fought in wars and bear invisible injuries that make the simple routines of daily living difficult. Others are reuniting with their families after decades of substance abuse. Some are homeless for the first time after losing their jobs. All are vulnerable and all have shown up.

Past the welcome desk on your left there is a tiny closet of a room, about half the size of a dorm room, with a couple of desks, a filing cabinet and an over-whelmed coat rack. This is the office of Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, the first organization in the country to bring legal help to veterans all day, everyday at the place they go to rebuild their lives. A housing specialist drops by with a veteran who got a notice to leave his apartment, a veteran stops in because he heard that his friend got a pardon with our help, and a veteran calls because she got a piece of mail from the VA she doesn’t understand.

These veterans talk with CVLC’s paralegal or veterans liaison, who connects them with one of four attorneys on staff. These attorneys might help them understand their rights or their mail, they might write a letter to a landlord who kept the veterans’ security deposit, or help them fill out a financial affidavit to modify their child support. These attorneys might connect the veteran with one of the hundreds of volunteer attorneys from across Connecticut who have agreed to help by donating their time and expertise.

In addition to feeling good, CVLC’s work does good; we know that because we measure our impact so we can focus our limited resources on the most successful  interventions. In the past year, 85% of CVLC full representation landlord-tenant cases increased housing stability for veterans.  Also in Fiscal Year 15-16, CVLC closed VA benefits cases for 17 veterans that will bring in $2.2 million in the next ten years. CVLC attorneys improved access to free high-quality lifetime healthcare from the VA for 20 veterans.

Board Chair Statement In 2009 the Sikorsky Legal department, then part of United Technologies, was doing a variety of wide-ranging pro bono activities. After looking at the services we were providing, it was decided that we would focus more directly on supporting the veterans who may have used our products while on active duty, and now needed some additional support to get their lives back on track. We became involved in the Harkness House and the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center because they were organizations that were providing vital, direct and measurable support to exactly the group which we wanted to assist. For both groups, Sikorsky, now a Lockheed Martin Company, provided not only material support but we also were able to be a “force multiplier” and provide pro bono legal services to both groups. I became involved in not only fund raising, but pro bono efforts also, and once I saw the dedication, energy and effectiveness of the CVLC efforts, I was hooked. As a veteran, I especially appreciate the services CVLC provides, as the faces of its clients are the faces of my former squadronmates, shipmates, crewman and friends. The opportunity to serve on the board and now lead the board are a natural extension of my time in the Navy, where I proudly served the country. Now, we at CVLC are proudly able to serve those who served the country. As the needs and numbers of the clients continue to grow, we need the continued support of those agencies, foundations, businesses and individuals who feel the same commitment to our servicemen and women that they felt to our country when they served. CVLC is on the leading edge of providing vital legal services as part of the very successful medical/legal partnership model and it is my continuing honor to be associated with the staff and leadership at CVLC which continues to do more with less every day.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Crime & Legal - Related / Legal Services
Secondary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Disabled Persons' Rights
Tertiary Organization Category Human Services / Homeless Services/Centers
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
CVLC serves veterans across the state of Connecticut though the majority of CVLCs clients reside in the Greater New Haven Community. This is in part because Connecticut's only full-service in-patient VA hospital is in West Haven and affiliated with the Yale Medical School. The hospital and its many services make Greater New Haven an attractive location for veterans in need of ongoing mental health, case management, housing and employment support.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CVLC's Board provides strategic direction, financial oversight, resource development and guidance to the Executive Director that are critical to CVLC's success. Any potential new Board member should meet at least one of these priorities:

 

  • Significant involvement in development
  • Accounting/financial skills
  • Geographic diversity
  • Marketing/Public Relations skills
  • Gender & Ethnic diversity
  • Corporate executive representation
  • Members with military service

 

Additionally, any potential Board member must be able to fulfill the established responsibilities and expectations. Any person who joins the Board of Directors agrees to:

 

  1. Consistently attend Board and committee meetings
  2. Participate in at least one Board committee
  3. Assist in resource development by:

 

  • Making an annual financial gift to the extent of his or her capacity
  • Asking his or her employer or other corporate entities to which you are related to donate
  • Assisting in development activities including, for example, site visits, talking about CVLC’s programs and mission, thanking donors, attending/hosting fundraising and friend-raising events

      4.  Be an informed participant, which includes:

  • Attending Board orientation
  • Reviewing the Bylaws
  • Preparing for Board meetings by reviewing reports, minutes, and financial documents
  • Actively participating in Board discussions
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Adhere to the Board’s Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Enhance CVLC’s public standing in the community

Please contact CVLC's Executive Director Margaret Middleton at mmiddleton@ctveteranslegal.org for more information.

Programs
Description

CVLC's Removing Legal Barriers program provides free legal assistance to veterans in recovery from homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse to help them overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. Since 2009, CVLC has worked in medical-legal partnership with the VA Errera Community Care Center (ECCC) in West Haven. CVLC’s medical-legal partnership with the ECCC integrates legal assistance into the network of services provided to veterans by the VA and other agencies. While the VA Connecticut Healthcare System provides quality medical, mental health and rehabilitation services to eligible veterans, it provides no legal assistance. CVLC is the only organization in Connecticut that targets the legal needs of indigent veterans and the only organization in the state that provides legal assistance with veteran- specific issues, including VA benefits and discharge upgrades.

Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent / Elderly and/or Disabled / Homeless
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. In the short term, individual clients achieve positive outcomes through an assessment of their legal issues; this allows them to be aware of the steps they need to improve housing and income stability and access to healthcare. Clients also benefit because their VA providers are more familiar with the legal remedies that may be available to them. CVLC makes an effort to focus its resources on those types of claims that are most likely to end in meaningful outcomes for veterans and the level of service that is most likely to achieve those outcomes. CVLC tracks these short term successes using a custom-programmed evaluation database. Ultimately, CVLC strives for a strategic and efficient deployment of resources such that 90% of completed cases result in either: improved housing stability, improved income or improved access to healthcare. For some examples of how well CVLC achieves these goals now, please see the "examples of program success" section below.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
CVLC's vision is for all military veterans in our community to live with adequate means, affordable healthcare, safe and secure housing and peace of mind. To achieve that end, CVLC partners with housing and healthcare providers and fills in the missing piece: assistance to overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. CVLC’s objective in working with medical and service providers is to focus its limited resources on those veterans who have taken a step towards their own recovery by seeking help. CVLC works with mental health and addiction counselors, in the hope that legal assistance can help break the cycle of chronic homelessness and achieve the VA’s goal to end veteran homelessness.
 
If CVLC and its partners are successful then in the long-term, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will not suffer the same high rates of homelessness and untreated mental illness that have plagued Vietnam veterans for decades. Success will mean a paradigm shift in the way this country takes care of the young people who fight its wars. Indicators of success will be no more homeless veterans, fewer incarcerated combat veterans and high-quality care and timely compensation for all veterans who seek it.
 

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. CVLC continuously evaluates program success using a custom-built evaluation database. At the close of any matter, CVLC's attorneys record whether the outcome improved a veteran's housing stability, increased income, reduced debt, improved access to health care or improved access to the justice system. For income and debt figures, CVLC's attorneys record the dollar amount of any financial improvement for the client. The entire legal staff reviews these mission-driven outcomes for every closed case at CVLC's weekly staff meeting and reviews the aggregate outcome data four times a year.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Last year (Fiscal Year 2016), CVLC helped resolve 567 legal issues that improved veterans’ housing stability. For each veteran, these outcomes can be life changing. For example, CVLC connected a Vietnam combat veteran facing eviction with a pro bono attorney. Severe PTSD left the veteran few social supports and panicked about being kicked out of his home. The volunteer called the fire marshal and confirmed the veteran’s apartment violated code as it lacked sufficient exits. Because of the violation, the landlord paid for the veteran’s lodging while he found new housing working with a VA housing specialist. The attorney also helped the veteran successfully get a quick VA disability compensation determination. The successful claim increased the veteran’s monthly income by $2,800 giving him enough to afford a new apartment. The veteran told CVLC ““if [the volunteer lawyer] was my own brother, he couldn’t have done better for me…without him I would’ve been lost.” 

Description

The burdens of military service are particularly heavy for veterans with a “less than honorable” discharge from the military. Each year, the Department of Defense erroneously denies service members an “honorable” discharge, often because of behaviors symptomatic of PTSD. These veterans are more likely to commit suicide, become homeless, and to be involved in the criminal justice system as other veterans. Racial minorities, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ veterans, and service members with mental health disabilities are disproportionately less than honorably discharged. Such “bad paper discharges” can make veterans ineligible for VA educational, medical, or disability benefits and make it harder for them to secure civilian jobs. Some of the most injured veterans in New Haven are denied care right now because of wartime mental injuries. CVLC's Military Records Correction Program is working to fix this injustice.

 
Population Served People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities / Offenders/Ex-Offenders / Other Named Groups
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Records corrections cases can take years to resolve, so CVLC’s immediate success will be in continuing to build a robust program. In the short-term, this program will continue train volunteers to start taking cases to assist veterans seeking records corrections. To date, around 100 Connecticut attorneys at approximately 35 law firms and corporations have been trained; in addition, attorneys in New York and New Mexico have had access to CVLC training and support. Short-term success includes the number of clients screened, the number of clients whose cases are being developed through records requests, the number of clients who have been assigned a volunteer attorney and the number of clients who have filed a records request with their volunteer attorney.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. This aspect of CVLC’s program has the potential to secure profound long-term changes in the lives of thousands of veterans. CVLC clients who achieve records corrections would be eligible for free lifetime medical care, the GI Bill, improved employability along with the validation of their military service. In addition to these individual outcomes, CVLC’s national leadership in this area is helping dozens of other programs advocate for veterans by providing materials and training to advocates around the country. The expansion of advocacy in this underserved area will ultimately result in reforms both to the way the military discharges soldiers and to the way the military handles requests for corrections after discharge.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Outcomes of the Records Corrections program are tracked in CVLC’s case management database. In addition to the data and outcomes CVLC tracks for every matter, for these particularly complex matters CVLC staff track what records have been requested, reviewed and by whom. To monitor the program’s development, CVLC staff track how many attorneys have been trained, how many have taken pro bono cases and how many have filed applications with their clients. For more information about the CVLC’s custom-programmed evaluation system and outcome-oriented management please read about CVLC’s core legal aid program.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Over the past 8 years CVLC has provided legal assistance to almost 2,000 veterans. Many of those veterans have received life-changing help from this program.For example, a Vietnam veteran was referred to CVLC by a VA homeless outreach worker. The veteran was ineligible for VA care because of an Other Than Honorable discharge despite four other honorable terms of prior service. CVLC successfully appealed the veteran’s eligibility for VA care. Not only does he receive a lifetime of quality medical care, he is now living in permanent supportive housing funded by VA and is no longer homeless.

Program Comments
CEO Comments

Young men and women who serve their country at war face serious challenges when they get home.

 

  • First, they are often mentally injured during military service. According to a RAND study, 37% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have been seen at a VA facility have been diagnosed with a mental health issue.
  • Second, they face unemployment. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University reported that in February 2013 the youngest post-9/11 veterans (aged 20-24) experienced the highest unemployment rate of all age groups, at 38%. This joblessness rate is more than twice as high as their non-veteran counterparts.
  • Finally, the demands of service place a substantial strain on veterans’ intimate relationships. A 2011 study of recently discharged New York State veterans by the RAND Corporation reported that many marriages were in jeopardy due to veterans’ mood changes (44%) and worry over the possibility of redeployment (42%).
These three challenges - mental injury, unemployment, and family stress - result in an unacceptably high rate of homelessness amongst veterans. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), poor single veterans, female veterans, poor African-American veterans, and veterans aged 18-30 are all more than twice as likely to become homeless as similarly situated non-veterans.
Veteran place legal assistance at the top of their list of unmet needs. The most recent annual VA-sponsored CHALENG survey of homeless male veterans and their care providers ranked legal issues as five of their top ten unmet needs out of a list of over 30 options. These unmet legal needs include discharge upgrades, legal assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure, to resolve child support issues, restore a drivers’ license, and eliminate warrants and fines; all needs that can be met with effective assistance of counsel. Despite the clear and compelling need for legal help, the VA does not provide this service. Instead, it counts on partners like CVLC to fill this gap. William Russo, Esq.—advisor to the VA Office of General Counsel—summarized VA’s strategy this way: “Recognizing the force-multiplying effect of legal services on its efforts to prevent and end veterans' homelessness, [VA] encourages staff at its medical centers, outpatient clinics, and Vet Centers to refer veterans with unmet legal needs to local legal service providers, and, where possible, to provide office space for legal service providers to work with veterans on-site.”

 

CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Margaret Middleton
Term Start Sept 2009
Email mmiddleton@ctveteranslegal.org
Experience Margaret Middleton serves as Executive Director of Connecticut Veterans Legal Center which she co-founded with Howard Udell in 2009. She also co-taught Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic for five year.  Previously, she was an Emerson Fellow at David Rosen and Associates in New Haven and a law clerk to The Honorable Janet C. Hall of the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, CT. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before attending the New York University School of Law.
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 650
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Staff Attorney
Experience/Biography

Cindy Johnson is a Staff Attorney at Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. Prior to pursuing her dream to become a public interest lawyer, she had a 25 year career in Software Development. She is a graduate of University of Connecticut School of Law. 

She is admitted to the Connecticut State Bar and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the New Haven County Bar Association.

Title Senior Counsel
Experience/Biography

A graduate of George Washington University National Law Center, Christy has served as a leader in the public interest law community in New Haven and nationally. Her previous experience includes working as Director of George Washington University’s Consumer HELP Bankruptcy Clinic, the Managing Attorney at Valley Legal Assistance, and the Deputy Director at New Haven Legal Assistance.

Christy has also worked as a Visiting Clinical Instructor at Yale Law School and served on the Board of Directors at the Columbus House and Washington Council of Lawyers.

Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
  • Medical-legal partnership with mental health and homeless services providers at VA Connecticut. 
  • Yale Law School’s Veterans’ Legal Services Clinic to jointly create a military discharge upgrades training manual and, along with the CBA, train volunteer attorneys in handling DUs.
  • VLSC to draft and lobby for legislative reforms in CT to help veterans avoid jail, access care, and reenter the workforce.
  • Columbus House and WorkPlace Inc. through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
  • Connecticut Psychological Association and Yale School of Medicine to recruit and train the first network of mental health providers to provide free evaluations for veterans seeking VA and DoD assistance.
  • Yale Med School Dept of Psychiatry, Division of Forensic Psychiatry to provide free evaluations for VA disability compensation and pension or discharge upgrades.
  • The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and VA Office of Innovation to share value of MLP model for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Swords to Plowshares to increase nationwide capacity for discharge upgrades.

 

Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Dozen Who Make a DifferenceConnecticut Law Tribune2010
New Leaders in the LawConnecticut Law Tribune2012
40 under 40Connecticut Magazine2014
New Leaders in AdvocacyNLADA2014
Comments
CEO Comments

CVLC's strong management and governance capacities create the foundation that allows CVLC to innovate relentlessly: 

  • CVLC was recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013 as the first organization in the country to integrate legal services into VA care for veterans; a model the VA now promotes nationally as the gold standard. Recognized in 2015 with the VA's National Community Partnership award with VA CT's Errera Community Care Center.
  • CVLC published the only peer-reviewed academic paper on that model in 2012.
  • CVLC started the first legal services practice in veterans’ benefits and military records corrections in Connecticut in 30 years.
  • CVLC has recently completed a first-of-its kind longitudinal evaluation of the mental health and well-being outcomes of veterans who receive legal help integrated with VA care thanks to a $700,000 grant to CVLC and a partner organization from the Bristol-Myer Squibb Foundation.
  • CVLC has helped several corporations including Sikorsky Aircraft and Purdue Pharma, start new pro bono programs, connecting their in-house attorneys with veterans in need.
  • CVLC partners with the Yale School of Medicine Psychiatry Department’s Law and Psychiatry Division and the Connecticut Psychological Association to recruit and train mental health providers ready to provide pro bono forensic evaluations to indigent veterans.
  • CVLC hosted the first conference of veteran-specific legal services programs bringing 10 programs from five states together in New Haven to identify challenges and opportunities in this growing field.

In all of these ways CVLC represents the advanced guard in serving the needs of veterans, which is why legal services programs, funders, state bar associations and VA employees from at least a dozen states and the District of Columbia have sought CVLC’s expertise and advice in designing programs to serve the legal needs of veterans.

Board Chair
Mr. Kevin Lenehan
Company Affiliation Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Term Mar 2016 to Mar 2017
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. Adam M. Dworkin Griffin Faculty Practice Plan
Mr. John Kelley Children in Placement
Mr. Mike Moravecek CT DHMAS
Mr. Edward O'Hanlan Robinson & Cole
Ms. Alison O'Shea Point72 Asset Managament
Mr. William J. Pieper
Mr. Brian Pierne Deloitte
Mr. David Rosen David Rosen & Associates
The Reverend Dr. John Selders Jr.
Ms. Kathi Tourjee Web MD
Mr. Donald P. Tutson Jr.
Mr. Jeffrey A. Udell Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 2
Standing Committees
Nominating
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Nominating
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
NameAffiliation
Richard Blumenthal US Senator, CT
Chairman Kevin P. Brown Mohegan Tribe
Laurie Harkness Errera Community Health Center
Professor Michael Wishnie Yale School of Law
CEO Comments

CVLC has a robust, high performing management and governance team. According to the Community Foundation’s “Guiding Principles for Nonprofits: Leadership, Evaluation and Sound Management,” CVLC’s board functions highly on several core management objectives.

First, the board establishes the mission and sets the organizational direction to achieve it. CVLC completed its first three year strategic plan in 2016. That plan focused on building CVLC’s organizational infrastructure including building a strong and engaged board of directors, a robust development effort and effective marketing and communications. Since that time, CVLC has built a fundraising board including key members from CVLC fundraising partners Sikorsky aircraft and Point72 asset management, which collectively helped to generate half of CVLC’s budget last year. In 2016 the Board completed CVLC's second three year strategic plan. This plan sets an ambitious course to increase CVLC’s work reforming the systems New Haven area veterans rely on through impact litigation, legislative work and coalition building.

Second, the board exercises strong oversight over CVLC’s finances. The board has adopted written financial controls that address potential conflicts of interest by clearly delineating the roles of the finance manager, the executive director, and the board in responsible money management. In particular, the financial controls create systemic checks so that no single agent controls any part of fund management without oversight. In addition to these policies, the board requires regular financial reporting from the staff. The board’s financial direction has been so prudent and conservative that CVLC has run at a small surplus every completed fiscal year for the last five years.
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $667,280.00
Projected Expenses $739,168.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Annual Report 2014-152015View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$744,603$869,673$241,226
Government Contributions$0$0$27,704
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified----$27,704
Individual Contributions------
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues------
Special Events$286,762$267,193$253,931
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$108--($9,306)
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$928,817$801,442$269,194
Administration Expense$51,951$43,972$30,370
Fundraising Expense$28,446--$330
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.341.71
Program Expense/Total Expenses92%95%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$777,179$767,777$454,036
Current Assets$777,179$767,777$454,036
Long-Term Liabilities$13,010$21,063$12,512
Current Liabilities$11,647$16,451$2,713
Total Net Assets$752,522$730,263$438,811
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Mortimer D. Sackler Foudnation $90,000 --Bristol-Meyers Squibb Foundation $180,240
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSikorsky $46,000 --Sikorsky Aircraft $30,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNewman's Own Foundation $25,000 --Jana Foundation $20,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities66.7346.67167.36
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%3%3%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Comments
CEO Comments

CVLC’s financial health has proven resilient despite two major changes in funding over the past 9 years. First, following the death of CVLC co-founder Howard Udell, the CVLC lost the sponsorship of several law multinational law firms that had had strong personal connections to Howard. Second, the CVLC grew to accommodate a $360,000 two-year non-renewable grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and had to add that much in new sources over two years in order to maintain the growth. Due to the CVLC’s conservative fiscal management and diversification of its funding sources, CVLC not only survived both of these changes but raised a surplus in all but the current fiscal year, and set aside a six month cash operating reserve.

Foundation Staff Comments
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 114 Orange Avenue, 2nd Floor
West Haven, CT 06516
Primary Phone 203 794-4291
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Margaret Middleton
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Lenehan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

 

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